News and Tribune


May 23, 2014

New Albany: Tax appeal by major retailers on hold

The Home Depot, Meijer, challenged assessments

NEW ALBANY — New Albany officials said Thursday tax assessment appeals requested by The Home Depot and Meijer have been placed on “indefinite hold.”

The major retailers were set to challenge their tax appraisals for their New Albany properties this month before a state board, and the city hired legal representation to fight the cases, citing a potential blow to levy collections.

While the delay doesn’t necessarily mean the appeals are finished, city officials are hopeful the likelihood of further action by the retailers has been diminished.

“I think it’s due to the steps that the redevelopment commission took,” said David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for the city.

The commission hired a real estate company to fight the appeals. Meijer, 4206 Charlestown Road, and The Home Depot, 2239 State St., are situated in tax-increment financing districts. A portion of the property taxes those companies pay are reserved into TIF accounts, which are managed by the commission and city redevelopment staff and foot major projects.

For example, the bond covering construction of the aquatic center, multiuse recreation center and the Binford Park upgrades will be paid back with TIF funds.

City officials were concerned that if The Home Depot and Meijer won their appeals, other businesses would seek to have their assessments lowered, and TIF revenue could suffer.

City officials have also been adamant that the rates those businesses are paying are fair.

Attempts to reach The Home Depot on Thursday afternoon for comment were unsuccessful.

New Albany City Councilman Dan Coffey, who is also a member of the redevelopment commission, said The Home Depot backed away after the city stated it would be happy to buy the State Street lot for what the business had suggested it was worth based on the appeal.

“Space like that is extremely hard to come by, and we could have filled it up really quickly,” he said.

Coffey added that The Home Depot benefited from the road improvements made to State Street — upgrades that were paid for by TIF funds.

“I find it upsetting that we use the TIF funds to put in the infrastructure for the business and they turn around and try to stiff us,” he said.

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